6 Importance Of Eco-Friendly Packaging
Practical paper bags are nothing new; paper has been used to transport goods for centuries. However, today’s paper bag manufacturers are increasingly designing paper bags that incorporate raw materials with recycled content, and the paperboard structure of the paper bags is built to reduce the reliance on virgin fiber resources. This article briefly discusses 6 reasons why this is happening.
- Demand for paper bags are increasing
One of the main reasons why paper bag manufacturing businesses are creating paper bags with higher recycled content is because paper demand, in general, is escalating. In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, consumer paper goods such as paper towels and toilet paper alone add up to about 3% of the entire U.S paper market. Paper bag manufacturing companies and paperboard producers are typically considered upstream paper converters, so their business is also profiting from the increasing paper demand. However, paperboard producers who convert paper into paper boards tend to contain a higher recycled content than paper manufacturers since their end-product does not have to be used directly by the consumer.
- Population growth
The world’s population is now 7 billion, and it has doubled in size over the past 50 years. According to CNN International, if present trends continue, the global population will reach 9.3 billion by 2050 and 10.1 billion by 2100. Since paper bags are unnecessary, they tend to be used more as conveniences, and their increasing popularity can certainly be attributed to the increasing population.
- Less reliance on virgin fiber resource
The demand is for paper bags like colorful paper shopping bags with higher recycled content and less reliance on virgin fibers. This increased interest in using less virgin fiber is because of the volatile prices of oil and other natural resources necessary for paper production.
- Recycled content
Because of the increased demand for paper bags made with recycled content, it is imperative that the paper and paperboard manufacturer source their raw materials from suppliers who follow environmentally-friendly practices and recover post-consumer waste to make new pulp. Not only does this practice save natural resources and reduce energy consumption because fewer trees need to be cut down to produce paper bags, but it also produces a higher quality paper product.
- Recycled content at the manufacturing level
While converters purchase their raw materials from suppliers that source their pulp and board from recycled materials and green energy sources, they can further increase the recycled content of their products by adopting green energy practices and greenhouse gas emission reduction initiatives at the mill level. This, in turn, allows paper and board manufacturers to lower their carbon footprint and produce a higher quality paper product.
- Higher recycled content results in better performance
A great thing about selecting paper bags that contain recycled content is that they will last longer than those made with 100% virgin fiber. For example, according to the Washington Post, paper bags with 20% post-consumer waste content break down within 12 weeks in a compost pile, and those that contain 40% post-consumer waste only take 7 weeks to break down. The increased life of recycled paper bags means that they will be less likely to end up in landfills. Researchers have found that paper and paperboard account for the largest portion of municipal solid waste, about 25%, compared to other packaging materials.
Restaurants and other food establishments are often thought to be culprits in increasing paper waste because of the disposable items they use. However, restaurant food packaging containers are a good solution for food establishments trying to reduce their carbon footprint while also saving money because they are reusable. Paper restaurant takeout boxes offer an environmentally-friendly alternative to foam restaurant food containers made from petroleum products.
To conclude, the world’s population growth and the increase in paper bag use by restaurants and other food establishments result in a greater demand for paper bags with recycled content. As we continue to work towards a greener planet, manufacturers must meet this growing demand while also taking steps at their facilities to reduce their carbon footprint and conserve natural resources.